Here's another reason to avoid yahoogroups

From: Joseph S Barrera III (
Date: Thu Apr 19 2001 - 01:32:39 PDT

So Tom, I do use yahoogroups for several lists, but mostly for
civilians who don't understand how to use majordomo and need a GUI for
subbing and unsubbing and so forth. Not that yahoogroup's interface is
good -- parts of it are severely confusing. But at any rate, read on:

Also sprach Joseph S Barrera III:
> I'm on a few civilian mailing lists (e.g. my wife's list about
> breeding/showing cavies) and this word mangling has just been driving
> people insane. Whoever thought of it should be killed repeatedly.
> - Joe
> Also sprach Nick Moffitt:

----- Forwarded message -----

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 22:00:13 -0400
From: Kirrily Skud Robert <>
Subject: More on Yahoo mail's anti-virus attachment translation

Further to "Yahoo! Mail translates attachments" in RISKS-21.27, I saw
the following e-mail on a mailing list which discusses medieval cookery:

  From: <>
  Subject: (OT) "Medireview" ???
  Does anyone know why certain Web sites and mail servers change the word
  "medieval" to "medireview" without any warning? Have I missed something?
  Did they change the spelling of the word, and not mail me the notice?

In addition to translating terms like "expression" to "statement" and "eval"
to "review" in an attempt to disable potential virus code, it seems that
they don't check for word boundaries, so "eval" is translated to "review"
even when it's within a word like "medieval".

It's easy to fix this in Perl (for instance), where the programmer
would write


to check for word boundaries.

The RISKS? Firstly, "two wrongs don't make a right." Yahoo's half-baked
attempt to fix one problem without adequate thought or testing has caused
more problems. Secondly, while the mangling of the word "medieval" on a
cookery mailing list may be unimportant, similar mangling occurring to a
person's name, address, e-mail address, URL or other important data could
have knock-on effects of a much more serious nature.

  Addendum: I've just had a report of an actual instance of a mangled
  e-mail address:

> Someone [...] changed his e-mail address to "cheval" and several of us
> couldn't get his new address straight because it kept coming up at
> "chreview". Eventually, we realized what the word actually was, but it
> took a while.


Kirrily "Skud" Robert

----- End forwarded message -----

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 29 2001 - 20:25:57 PDT